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Robert

Top Gun AWS

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Hello All,

I recently created two Top Gun AWS's and attached them to a pair of Zagi's. They work great! The experience is awesome not having to worry about mid-air collisions as the Zagi's are virtually indestructable -- not to mention the sheer excitement of getting tone on your opponent.

At present I am working on a third so I can get an even more tangled mess of airplanes battling overhead. Anyway to make a long story long. It appears that HobbyZone has changed the combat module in such a way as to make it not work with the design of the Top Gun AWS. It still works on their planes with the X-Port but it will not work with the AWS.

Near as I can figure they made it so that the initial beeps that cause so much hearing loss when you turn your model on have been suppressed to a dull much lower tone.

I suspect it is this new functionality that makes the AWS not work with the newer version of the module. Not being a hardware guy but being a software guy, I suspect it may have something to do with the code that checks for the existence of the fire signal -- just a hunch.

Any suggestions... My goal is to get 9 of these things going so we can do some team combat with 3 teams of 3.

Robert

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Are you sure you have the correct Combat Module? I might be wrong, but I recall that there are two nearly identical brands out there. What is the part number and brand name on your latest purchase? Do the product markings match the ones you bought in the past?

Are you sure it isn't something unrelated to the Sonic device? Could it be a wiring issue on the PIC? Or, maybe the module's plug is not making good contact with your mating header? Check these simple things again. I suspect something like them over something more sinister.

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I'll get you the part number tonight. However, it is the HobbyZone branded one. The boxes are identical to the previous ones I bought. Also, I tried more than one. If you would like I could send you one.

I took the first one I bought back since the reduction in the tone made it seem like it was not operating correctly and it wouldn't work with the AWS module. I also interchanged the original modules that I bought with the new one in the AWS and it works flawlessly. Finally, I tried the new sonic module in an Aerobird Challenger and it worked just fine.

I have built two AWSs and the new module yields the same result with both AWSs. The new module does not work and the old module works perfectly. However, I will double check the signal wires from the pic to the sonic module and firing channel.

I did not mean to make it sound like HobbyZone is being sinister but I suspect they made some changes to get rid of the ear ringing that occurs when you originally plug the pane in. I can't imagine that this behavior isn't a constant stream of complaints for them. After all the plug is sometimes not very cooperative and you tend to stick your head down next to it to get it to plug in.

By the way. Thanks for such a cool toy. :D

Robert

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If necessary you can send the module to me for review. But before you do, let's see if it really is the source of trouble.

Remove the Sonic module from the PIC. Following the info on the schematic, hook power up the the Sonic module. To test the sonic cannon, just apply 5V to its Fire! input. It should scream. If it doesn't then they indeed changed something.

Too bad they made it quieter. Half the fun is the ear shattering noise!

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Mr. RC-Cam

Well, I hooked up the new module and it did not fire it just clicked like it does when you turn on the Aerobird. I double checked it with the Aerobird to make sure it somehow became inop and it still works. It clicks when you turn on the plane and works fine when you press the fire button.

The old module beeps loudly when you turn it on and the new module just kinda clicks. The noise is still just as shrill when you press the fire button on the Aerobird but it just clicks when you first plug in the battery. They didn't take away the deliberate fun it's just the unexpected ear pounding thats gone.

BTW I tried what you suggested with the old module and it fired on queue when I hooked it up. Anyway, I think my wife is pretty much done with my ops checks -- she likes the new (not working) module -- There's the fun.

Would you like me to send it to you?

Robert

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BTW I tried what you suggested with the old module and it fired on queue when I hooked it up.

But what does the new module do when you do the special test?

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The module you sent me is certainly weird. If it is working correctly then the fix is not obvious. It refuses to fire no matter what I try. I get some farts and clicks, but nothing substantial. It acts like it is defective. But I understand that you tested it, so that option is eliminated.

So, I am now on the hunt for a cheap HobbyZone X-Port enabled R/C system to study (o-scope sort of activity).

All I need is the working electronics (Tx, Rx, servos, etc.) . So if anyone out there has a busted or retired HobbyZone airplane radio sysem that is not needed then please contact me via the forum's PM feature. I can pay a small $ amount for the model's guts, or perhaps trade it for some programmed RC-CAM PIC chips. Donations cheerfully accepted too. ;)

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Latest news: I have nothing new to report on this. The module that I received from Robert for testing just did not seem right. It was drawing several hundred mA's while idle, which suggests that it was defective. I sure hope it is, since the current draw could ultimately prove to be a problem.

I am still waiting to hear if it still works on a real X-port equipped system. If it does, and it is not defective in any way, then I will need the guts from a retired HobbyZone radio system to determine what is going on. If you have a broken model collecting dust in your basement, and feel it's electrical organs could help out this scientific quest, then please contact me via forum PM.

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Here is what the orginal HobbyZone Module looks like (this is the one that we know works great with the Combat AWS project):

post-7-1089997163_thumb.jpg

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Here is the new HobbyZone module. This is the one that is the troublemaker:

post-7-1089997605_thumb.jpg

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It looks like the mystery is coming to an end. Thank goodness.

The revised Top Gun AWS Chip is a drop in replacement. So, other than a chip swap, no hardware changes will be required.

I now need to verify that the older HobbyZone module still works with the updated PIC. I'll have to hunt down one and see how it goes. Once verified, I will release the new PIC version.

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam

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The firmware release is pending feedback from a couple beta users. Until the fixed code is verified by at least one of them, I will hold off on releasing it.

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Robert has reported that the new firmware is working for him (both old and new modules). I'm working with another fellow to see if it works in his R/C installation too. Assuming all continues to go well, Hex File release is expected next week.

BTW, here is an easy way to tell the two module apart:

post-7-1093022785_thumb.jpg

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